Debate Club

Does Barack Obama Have a Mandate?

Does Barack Obama Have a Mandate?

President Barack Obama was re-elected handily last night, carrying most of the swing states and likely the popular vote. After a first term marred by congressional obstruction, a historically high unemployment rate, and a nasty, hard-fought campaign against former Gov. Mitt Romney, Obama supporters say that the president can now claim a mandate to govern with liberal policies in his second term.

Republicans, however, deny any such mandate. Democrats gained more control of the Senate, but not enough to overcome a Republican filibuster. The GOP also retained control of House, leaving some to call 2012 a "status quo" election. In his victory speech, Obama expressed hope that country could move past Washington gridlock, saying, "Tonight you voted for action, not politics as usual." However, Republican Speaker of the House John Boehner Tuesday suggested that Congress would continue its opposition to Obama's agenda, calling the House a "primary line of defense."

Did Obama's win give him a mandate? Here is the Debate Club take:


The Arguments

#1
20 Pts
Second Term Presidential Mandates Are Nonexistent

No – Second Term Presidential Mandates Are Nonexistent

Jamie Chandler Political Scientist at Hunter College

#2
17 Pts
Obama Will Have to Bargain for His Mandate

No – Obama Will Have to Bargain for His Mandate

Brandon Rottinghaus Associate Professor of Political Science at University of Houston

#3
-4 Pts
Obama Can Claim an Electoral College Mandate

Yes – Obama Can Claim an Electoral College Mandate

Lara Brown Assistant Political Science Professor at Villanova University

#5
-21 Pts
Obama Will Have a Mandate to Pass Immigration Reform

Yes – Obama Will Have a Mandate to Pass Immigration Reform

Brad Bannon President of Bannon Communications Research


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